Why comments on this blog is (generally) unmoderated

I was listening to an America Magazine Podcast on which Deacon Greg Kandra was talking about his blog “The Deacon’s Bench”.

One of the things they talked about was “to moderate or not to moderate?” Both the America magazine blog and Deacon Kandra’s blog are moderated – because some people fell below the standard of what could be termed “polite online conversation”.

I don’t have moderation of comments on this blog – although on one or two occasions where I thought the poster was out of line, I removed the comment. (Once or twice in three years isn’t what I would call “moderating”, however.)

In part, this is because I haven’t found the need for it. In part, it is because of the culture of Sentire Cum Ecclesia.

What I mean by that is that we have – you and me together, dear Reader – created an atmosphere here of chummy too-and-froing, and of respect for one another no matter what “POV” we might present.

I like stimulating argument. I dislike being in a conversation where everyone agrees with one another. SCE is a place where you cannot express a point of view and think that you don’t have to back it up with reason.

I like to imagine SCE as an after dinner conversation at my place over port and cheese. Of course, since it is my place, I get to decide what we talk about, but I am happy to sit back and listen to where you guys want to take the conversation.

But I dislike rudeness. If you are rude on this blog, you are either being rude to me as your host, or to my friends – ie. to those who come to read and comment on this blog.

So just a word of warning: If you are rude, you won’t get invited back for any more port and cheese at Sentire Cum Ecclesia.

Now is that bottle stuck to the table, or could someone pour me another glass?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Why comments on this blog is (generally) unmoderated

  1. William Weedon says:

    I promise I’ll behave. Just don’t take away the wine and cheese, PLEASE!

  2. Schütz says:

    Ah, my dear friend, you are in yourself the very model of the ideal SCE commentator!

    (Some one pass the bottle to Pastor Weedon, please?)

  3. Past Elder says:

    God bless me sideways, and I was hoping for pizza and to bring Catherine Deveny.

    Sunny gunny, I suppose you think I really do know the Bishop of Norwich.

    Well, in the words of the great American hero Jesse James, now ain’t that the dingest dangest thing.

  4. Schütz says:

    Bishop of Norwich? I don’t get your reference, ol’ boy.

    I’m trying to imagine SCE as a pizza and red wine deal with you and Catherine Deveny… mmm… could be…

    Actually media types do make for interesting dinner conversation. Last year I was at a dinner party which included ABC radio talkback host Lindy Burns. That was fun.

  5. Joshua says:

    Speaking of all this, David ol’ chum ol’ pal, I’ll be in Melbourne this weekend – any chance of seeing you?


    imangl – a new Apple product that destroys coherent expression.

  6. Past Elder says:

    Great Judas the Jesuit, what do I have to do, teach you bleeding Portuguese and hop the next Quantas flight to Douro?

    Why, the Bishop of Norwich is the Right Reverend Graham James, the 71st such bishop, unless of course you recognise the utter baselessness of the Church of England, in which case the last real bishop of Norwich was John Hopton 1554-8.

    Flying Judas at Lambeth, the bleeding Bishop of Norwich was bishop of my ancestors in Suffolk, until the creation of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich in 1914.

    Great Judas in East Anglia, port is socially consumed by passing to the left. Port, the sherry named from the short for Portugal, passed to the port, the nautical term for left. We’re English, dammit. And they go on about my manner here! Hah!

    What sort of barbarian would pour his own drink like a stumblebum, or ask for one to be poured for him? Better to dance naked in the liquor store, as the Norwegian Lutherans say. You pour a glass for the person on your right, then pass the bottle to your left, who will then pour your glass. If the person to your left does not do so, you ask “Do you know the Bishop of Norwich?”

    Apparently at some point one of the Bishops of Norwich was a singularly stingy fellow and became renowned for such. I do not know which of the 71 it was, although due to the age of the legend we may excuse Mr James. Perhaps the learned opinion of Dr William Tighe can be the antidote to my perverted ecclesiology here.

    Now, if the bottle hog, instead of resuming his conduct as a proper Englishman, answers simply “No”, then you know you are dealing with someone who is a complete oaf, a total dweeb, and possibly French.

    Do you know how late I have to stay up to respond to these spiritual matters as you post them? Blow me down if the original site of the cathedral from 630 isn’t under the damn ocean off Suffolk now.

    I like my pizzas with the works, everything on it, etc, except anchovies, which the bleeding Bishop of Norfolk can ruddy have. On the other hand, maybe Catherine likes them.

  7. Schütz says:

    What sort of barbarian would pour his own drink like a stumblebum, or ask for one to be poured for him? Better to dance naked in the liquor store, as the Norwegian Lutherans say. You pour a glass for the person on your right, then pass the bottle to your left, who will then pour your glass. If the person to your left does not do so, you ask “Do you know the Bishop of Norwich?”

    You are a queer fellow (in the traditional sense of the word), PE. I have to edit your posts before I get to the guts of the matter. No more port for you! You’ve obviously had more than enough already and should be in bed!

    As for what sort of person would pour his own port or ask another to do it for him, let us simply say:

    A Barossa Lutheran.

    The true Barossa Deutsch would never allow their glass to go empty just because some other sod didn’t know his etiquette. Or the Bishop of Norwich – whom I am sure they had never even heard of. I doubt very much if any of them had ever heard of Norwich, for that matter.

    I have to be off. I have an interfaith committee meeting to take minutes for. Have a good night’s sleep, PE. Let the effects of the port wear off a bit!

  8. Aussie Therese says:

    I have comment moderation on my blog because my children read it and I don’t want them reading some of the insults that many people have written.

    I have had many people call me names and swear. I just don’t want things like that on my blog so I moderate.

    This doesn’t mean I don’t publish comments that disagree with my pov, this means I don’t publish them when someone is rude or uses inappropriate language.

    I have thought a couple of times of taking it off but each time this has happened I have got something I wouldn’t want my children reading so it stays on.

  9. Past Elder says:

    An interfaith committee? These days that could be the parish or diocesan council!

    Whatever makes you think I should be at home with our distant cousins, those rude and calamity of port drinkers the Germans!

    Actually, let’s have some starboard. This was the sherry of the long lost Starboardshire, now ten miles off the coast of Suffolk at the bottom, which was hoarded by the Bishop of Starboardshire, the Right Reverend Stercus Accidit, until the place was not just laid waste but actually sunk by barbarian hordes in long boats, to which the shire’s reeve, or sheriff as you call them now, uttered his famous last words, Look at all those frigging Vikings!

    Oh, I forgot, this is a “Catholic” blog, no having fun allowed. So then, Google or something on the proper manner in which port is served and consumed.

  10. christl242 says:

    Both the America magazine blog and Deacon Kandra’s blog are moderated – because some people fell below the standard of what could be termed “polite online conversation”.

    Or maybe because America. which the Ursuline pastoral associate at my former parish encouraged me to read, is a Jesuit publication and like Commonweal, U.S. Catholic and The National Catholic Reporter subscribe to er, a certain mindset and prefer that their readers do too?

    Oh no, wait — I’m not being entirely fair. I once sent a comment to Commonweal that vigorously disagreed with a position they held and they, in return offered me a subscription! I politely declined.

  11. Terra says:

    Like Therese I moderate, and for exactly the same reason. I enjoy people disagreeing with me – but there are some weirdos out there who seem unable to exercize any self-discipline or politesse (not to mention the spammers who keep trying to advertise things like Christian rock bands via the comments box!). But glad to hear not everyone is afflicted by such problems!

  12. matthias says:

    I will behave as well ,but no port for me ,yarra valley shiraz or dark ale. PE It is Qantas not quantas, standing for Qeensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service. Taswegians amongst us may think the “U” you gave could be for Ulverstone. Schutz what are the linguistical variations in barossa deutsch to give it that name.

  13. Schütz says:


    I cannot decide whether our benign and pleasant culture on this blog is due to the fact that no “weirdos” ever visit this blog, or if it is because ONLY “weirdos” ever do…


    Yarra Valley shiraz? You have to be joking. They couldn’t make a good shiraz out there to save themselves. You’ll only get quality South Australian Shiraz at the SCE table: McLaren Vale or Barrossa or Coonawarra or Clare Valley.

    As for linguistic variations in Barossa Deutsch… I really couldn’t tell you. My father used to speak it as a child – but he can’t understand proper German today. My mother’s father used to come out with some expressions occasionally when I was a child, and occasionally I heard elderly people speaking it together. It was a very low German, very unrefined. It was a living language and culture that reflected the geographical location from which the Silesian peasant immigrants came, and which strived for more than one hundred years in South Australia.

    And now its a dead culture and language. I don’t think anyone ever bothered to study the Barassa Deutsch anthropologically or linguistically. In fact, post WWII and then again in the ’60s and ’70s there was a decided attempt to stamp it out. They practically succeeded and now it would be virtually impossible to write a history of a culture that was alive and well only sixty years ago.

    Sometimes I can understand how our indigenous brothers and sisters feel…

    Ah well. Pass the bottle, would you?

  14. Kiran says:

    I am sorry if I have gone beyond the pale, Schutz. I shall promise to be better behaved. Now, please could I have some port? And what about cigars?

    moggir: What you might have to content yourself with sans cigars and port.

  15. Vicci says:

    Matt, of course you are right.
    Have you tried Shantell?
    Up at Dixons Creek, and apparantly safe from the fire, if not the heat.

    ~ hard to top (Barossa) Rockford’s Basket-pressed. Harder to get hold of it! )

    colythe immature palate

  16. matthias says:

    Thanks Vicci, I ‘ll support the yarra valley winemakers due to the fires,but still am loyal to barossa -The Vineyard if the Empire -in years past.
    Schutz now as for the cheese -what have you got on offer. Bega Valley?

  17. Louise says:

    I was hoping for pizza and to bring Catherine Deveny.

    Honestly, PE, sometimes you are a real pest!

  18. matthias says:

    catherine Deveny,as i told you PE ,would fill the taxi with her ego so there would be no room for all three of you plus the driver.

  19. Schütz says:

    Or at the table, for that matter.

    Rockford’s Basket-pressed

    drool, drool.

    Kiran, when have you ever misbehaved? You are the perfect gent. Someone pass him the port, will you?

  20. Joshua says:


    Your telling of the extinction without trace of Barossa Deutsch is terribly sad – surely there are some traces, some records?

    Also, I assume that the German of the Lutheran hymns, services and prayers was standard German -but are there any remaining evidences of folk piety, little prayers and things people used?

    What about diaries (wouldn’t someone have kept a diary)?

  21. Past Elder says:

    Only if he’s sitting on my left.

  22. matthias says:

    Oh just got that PE but you would be in Australia,and perhaps sitting in the back seat,for being a gentleman you would insist on letting Ms devenny sit in the front,and then wonder why the driver sat with a decided lean to the door whilst driving on the eastern freeway out to Schutz’s place. Devenny would tell you that “ego is not a dirty word”

  23. Past Elder says:

    Maybe she knows the tradition about port drinking and the bishop of Norwich.

  24. Schütz says:

    Yes, there are a lot of written artefacts such as letters and diaries, but most formal communication and newspapers and the services and hymns were done in “proper” (tho archaic) german. Barossa Deutsch was essentially a spoken culture.

    The prayer I remember best from this time is still with us (excuse me if I spell anything wrong – I am writing it from oral memory):

    Komm Herr Jesus, sei unsere Gast,
    und segne was du uns gegeben hast.

    Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, and let these gifts to us be blest. Amen.

    A table grace – but I think this is fairly well known in American Lutheran culture as well.

  25. Past Elder says:

    Absolutely it is!

    At least in both the synods to which I have belonged, both being German immigrant in origin.

    What a hoot — there’s that word again — too in a family (Nancy’s. not mine) that is half LCMS and half RCC. When we were WELS, we were not supposed to say grace with any of them, plus, one of them being principal at a Catholic school (I suppose these days I should add he’s Catholic, which would not have been otherwise when I was in Catholic schools) was the appointed sayer of grace. At home, we use the Little Catechism form complete with Sign of the Cross, pretty much the same thing I was taught as a preconciliar RC kid. But now Grandma has become the sayer of grace at family gatherings, being the ranking matriarch, and she ALWAYS says “Come, Lord Jesus … ” which is also what is used at any WELS or LCMS eating function to which we have ever been. So the boys are quite comfortable with that too.

    Plus I absolutely love it when dining with RCs and they get all ecumenical and say a generic prayer with no Sign of the Cross, and I ask if I may say a Lutheran grace, and their jaws drop as they hear that old crap their moms and dads had them say before they got all relevant with Vatican II — “Bless us O Lord, and these thy gifts …”.

  26. matthias says:

    okay schutz last bit of my After dinner talk,what do you know of the Riverina Trek from the Barossa undertaken by Lutherans in the 1860s’ and secondly it is a pity that fred strehlow,great anthropologist and Luthern pastor’s son, did not undertake an examination of Barossa Deutsch

  27. Peter says:

    This doesn’t mean I don’t publish comments that disagree with my pov, this means I don’t publish them when someone is rude or uses inappropriate language.

    Yes, I was threatened with some disruption to a few things I do not so long ago and so I moderated the comments to protect other commentators from innapropriate use of the combox. I have never restricted comments because I disagree with them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *